College Fairs are wonderful opportunities to learn about new colleges and to show interest in the colleges already on your list. They can also be overwhelming, so it can help to have some strategies in place to get the most out them. You might consider practicing how your student will introduce themselves and start a conversation when arriving at a table. Here's a short list of ideas to make your college fair visit more enjoyable and productive.
- Make a list of questions prior to the college fair. What would you like to know from the college? Try to ask questions that go beyond, "Do you have x major?" For example, if you are interested in business you might want to ask about recent internships students have done.
- Arrive early or late to avoid the rush. If there’s a long line of students waiting to speak with a rep at a school you’re interested in, visit other schools on your list while the line dies down. And if you never get to talk to the rep, at least go to the front of the table and fill out the interest card.
- Create a mapped-out plan for the colleges you want to visit. Consult the fair’s map to find out where each school’s booth will be and circle each booth you want to visit to make sure you see every school you’re interested in.
- Fill out information cards at each table you visit as the colleges are tracking your interest. Printing out labels ahead of time with your name, address, and email lets you stick one on each college’s information card for better efficiency.
- If you visit a school that you really like, take the representative’s card and follow up with the rep via email. In the email, try to reference something the rep told you that stood out to you and do some research on the school’s website to come up with a new question to ask.
Parents may wonder what age student is appropriate for attending college fairs. In general, we recommend college fairs for students in the 10th and 11th grades.